THE premature baby of a 12-year-old girl who was raped by her grandfather has died after the child was denied an abortion by her religious family.
The then-11-year old, fell pregnant after her 61-year old "grandfather" allegedly raped her.
The sexagenarian, her stepfather's parent, presumably committed the vicious act in the town of Chimore, in Cochabamba in the centre of Bolivia.
Not yet a teen, the girl is reported to have begged her family for an abortion, in a country where terminations up to eight weeks are only legal in cases of rape, incest or to protect a girl or woman's life.
However, doctors at the German Urquidi Maternal and Child Hospital in Cochabamba, where she was being seen, refused to carry out the procedure, claiming the girl was over the legal time limit.
The 11-year-old was six months pregnant at the time.
The family initially refused to agree to an abortion, but changed their mind, only after giving their written consent.
The family's decision change may have been influenced by the Catholic Church in Bolivia, which said "the only solution is to save, care for and lovingly support both lives".
News of the refusal to carry out life-saving abortion outraged the central American nation, with many urging the government to bring in reforms to the country's abortion laws.
It is this context that the young girl was forced to carry on with her risky pregnancy- due to her age and because the infant was a result of rape – against the wishes of the little girl's doctors and the judicial authorities.
Unable to carry her infant, the young victim's premature baby was delivered by emergency C-section in the 29th week of pregnancy.
Sadly, the baby who was born at six months fought hard to survive after it was placed in an incubator but died after four days, on Wednesday June 15.
"We are saying goodbye to Indigo, who is going to become our flag in the fight for life," the Secretary of Human Development, Jenny Rivero is quoted as saying by Red Uno.
"We promise to ask for justice for this case and we are going to always watch over the lives of these children who have no voice, who do not decide when they can come into the world – it happens in many cases."
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"That case has to make us reflect and unite in order to defend the life of a human being and a child," she added.
The Ombudsman, Nadia Cruz, slammed the authorities and medical staff who, she claimed, did not take into account the health of the 12-year-old.
“They want five more weeks of torture against the minor, despite the fact that the girl begged, begged to be [aborted].
"What they do at the Germán Urquidi Hospital is that through their actions and personal positions they unprotect the victims of sexual abuse, who have the right to be heard by the State”, she told Red Uno.
The Mayor's Office, which nicknamed the infant "Índigo Estévez", announced they had allocated a plot in the General Cemetery to bury Índigo's little body.
A memorial services was held on Thursday June 17.
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The Prosecutor's Office has opened an investigation into the death of the baby and is expected to charge the elderly farmer with manslaughter.
The alleged sex predator is awaiting trial at the San Pedro de Sacaba prison.
Local media outlet El Deber reported that the 11-year-old and her 15-year old sister had been in the care of the suspect as their parents were working in La Paz as a cook and a bricklayer.
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